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The sudden COVID-19 health crisis continues to change our lives every day. With social distancing recommendations and quarantine practices in place, many entrepreneurs and managers are taking this time to pause and reflect. Conceptualizing and implementing effective remote work policies are critical to the success of any business enterprise, especially during these unprecedented times.

 

Manpower

When designing a plan, you must have a very thorough knowledge of which team members will work remotely and which, if any, will work onsite. Ask managers to provide instructions on their workflows and the roles of their teammates. Remember, not all tasks will run as smoothly while working virtually, so taking care to make choices for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness will be productive.

 

Resources

It is only natural for your employees to want to use the wi-fi at a public location, like a cafe, whenever possible, but if your business deals with private data, this may not be a wise choice. You’ll need to evaluate the risks, train employees, and possibly sign up for a VPN service.

There are a number of tools that facilitate project management and employee communication. Amongst them are Asana, basecamp, slack, weekly10, and whereby. These will incur an additional expense, but they can help improve communication among team members and boost morale.

 

Management

With no supervisor a few feet away from them, many employees will get lost. Establish a clear chain of command with predetermined items needing managerial approval. Open lines of communication are a must-have.

 

Reporting

Many businesses track work hours and activities. The vast majority of employees are honest and hardworking. It’ll just be easier to identify who needs to pick up the slack.

Google is one of the most successful companies in the world. While over the years it has ferociously grabbed market share from competitors, it is also famous for its successful work-at-home culture. The company places a heavy emphasis on team meetings, even if there is no urgent deadline looming overhead. Often for remote employees, this is the only interaction they have with each other for the day.

Projects obviously rely much more on emails and instant messages, but a lot of details get lost in the text. Humor gets misinterpreted, and text cannot properly convey the sound of a person’s voice, their expressions, or their body language. 

Online gatherings aren’t just used for business purposes but can also be used to get to know teammates better. Be sure to ask shy or introverted employees for their participation and input to ensure they feel connected, valued, and heard.

 

Having your employees work remotely provides an excellent opportunity to increase productivity, employee satisfaction, and even profitability. Remember though, work policies are very important to proper execution, and making sure that rules, expectations, and potential consequences are communicated clearly from the get-go can keep every team member on the same page and avoid unnecessary complications down the line.